One of my favorite topics to talk about is one that either incites disinterest, or fanatic levels of debate: Games.
Why, some might ask. Why not? It’s just one hobby among the countless I either have already, or have yet to experience. More specifically is that it’s not simply a “hobby”, or a mindless pastime. The arenas I & others like myself, choose to take part in, allow us a sense of wonder and freedom only our minds can surge into existence. Yet it are those very games that allow us to actually effect the once dreamlike universes, or nightmarish realms where only those that persevere make it through.
Above every genre that I take part in, “Fantasy rpg’s” are at the top of my gaming pyramid. More often than not, I step into the role of the roguish types. I love the attitude in those types of classes. I feel as though they “fit” me. In real life, I tend to exude either a cool and calm demeanor, or an excitable devil-may-care sort of guy. Granted, the roguish types are better with the more lovely gender, and have skills beyond my capabilities, but that’s what I love. They exemplify the way I go through life, yet to an almost exaggerated, and entertaining extent that I can’t help but try to emulate.
Why try to be like a fictional character, right? Well, over the course of my twenty five years on this earth, I’ve developed a sort of philosophy on why I do this. It’s not simply from video games, but all forms of fiction. Novels, movies, folktales, made up characters of my own, you name it! Growing up without an actual father figure, I suppose it left me trying to fill the gaps myself. There is only so much a mother can teach her sons, but to live and react to life like a man is beyond her, and that is a shame. But the same goes for a father trying to teach a young girl the ways of womanhood: Things just get left out, but not for the lack of trying!
Fiction has taught me a lot of values that no one had time to properly explain. Or at the very least, that no one had the patience to teach! As such, I credit a vast portion of my current self, for better or worse, to the characters I idolized, and those that hated with a passion. Some showed me the way of an upright citizen, while others let me glimpse into what could happen should I fall from a just and kind form of character.
Some things just seem like common sense, but sometimes I’ll think back to Dan Randolph from Ben Bova’s “Grand tour” novels, and think: What would he do in this situation? – He would make a way, and decide for himself if a thing is worth the effort, that’s what.
But games? To get back on topic, I’ll spell out my simple infatuation. I can do and see things that are physically improbable, and/or wildly, massively, insanely dangerous, that cannot be done in the real world. And my mother will never have to worry her beautiful little head about it either.
The adventures to be had in the digital world, to me, are even superior to those found in the library. And that is coming from one hell of a book-worm! The difference, is that where you fill in the blank images of the written narratives descriptions, a game has already done it for you; And you very personally get to behead that evil dragon with extremely jubilant prejudice.
It’s also a mental workout in all honesty. Everything is a puzzle waiting to be unraveled, in gorgeous detail after detail. The stories people weave, the lives they create, it’s almost as though you are glimpsing what it could be like to watch the creator at work! Through these portals of fantasy, I can see all manners of history, and human interaction unfold. The different viewpoints of people I will never meet, from all walks of life, from every corner of the globe, their hands at work! It’s truly a magnificent age to live in, and it always gets better, even when the real world gets a little bleaker, the spark of life wavering a little bit more day by day…
If you are a gamer, or a bookworm, or a movie buff, or any kind of lover of fiction, then you know exactly what I mean! Whether it’s on paper, on a screen, or coming out of someones mouth, fiction is the culmination of some of the brightest beacons of wonder one could ever hope to encounter. And even in it’s darkest renditions, it holds powerful lessons that must be remembered. Good triumphs always, as long as the good shines bright to the end.
And that, I think, is forever worth the trip down the rabbit hole.